Littlehampton indoor market no closer to being developed

IT'S back to the drawing board for Littlehampton's indoor market site, after plans to build 52 homes were branded "hideous".

It has taken four years for Martlet Homes to submit a planning application to Arun District Council, for the Surrey Street site, but members of the planning committee tore into the proposals at a meeting last Wednesday, and unanimously voted to reject them.

District councillor Mark Butler said: "I suggest that who ever put this design together had dark glasses on. It is hideous.

"Cheap budget hotel"

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"It is completely out of keeping with the rest of the town."

Referring to bright colours in the design, he said it would look like a "cheap budget hotel".

Councillor Jacqui Maconachie compared the development to 1960s tower blocks, that heralded modernity, but "soon looked rather dated", and became derelict and run down very quickly.

The application was to build 24 one-bedroom,18 two-bedroom and six three-bedroom flats, and two two-bedroom and one three-bedroom houses, in a mix of two, three, four and five-storey buildings, with retail space on the ground floors.

Lack of facilities

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It was not just the physical appearance of the design that came under attack, but also the fact that the allocated retail space had dropped from 990sqm as originally proposed by the developer, to 477sqm, or from four shops to two, and that adequate play and parking facilities would not have been provided.

Nick Wiltshire, district councillor, said it was a high-quality,

imaginative and contemporary design "that could drag Littlehampton into the 21st century".

"But it is true that there is a small amount of garden, and this will need to be looked at, and there are insufficient parking spaces.

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"It is such a shame, because it has taken four years to get to where we are, but Littlehampton will suffer should be approve it as it is."

Councillor Sylvia Olliver added that such a prime, town centre location should be used for retail, in order to keep Littlehampton a viable shopping location.

Five storeys "too high"

A letter of objection from the Littlehampton Civic Society was received by the council, which stated that the five-storey element of the development would be too high in comparison with neighbouring buildings, a point that a number of committee members agreed with.

* Firefighters were called to the site twice over the weekend, after youths broke in a set light to debris. The first call was at 3.12pm on Saturday (23), and the second at 5.30pm on Sunday.


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